I used .asc for ASCII armored (using --armor) encrypted messages.

But what extension should I use when encrypting file.tar.gz for example?

  • why would it matter what extension you give it?
    – yeah_well
    Jul 24, 2020 at 11:25
  • 1
    @VipulNair It doesn’t, but I would like to use the extension that people expect for this type of file.
    – sunknudsen
    Jul 24, 2020 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


.asc is appropriate for all ASCII-armored output, even if the input file was in a binary format. Traditionally the original filename will be maintained so that the recipient knows what to expect once they've decrypted the file, e.g., file.tar.gz.asc.

  • 1
    Yep, typically .asc for ASCII armored output & .gpg for binary output to be complete. Jul 24, 2020 at 13:53
  • gowenfawr, do you agree with @EsaJokinen?
    – sunknudsen
    Jul 24, 2020 at 14:22
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    @sunknudsen I agree that .gpg or .pgp are the most common options for non-ASCII-armored GnuPG encrypted files, with .bin being a rarer but still present choice for some people. Interestingly the choice of .gpg or .pgp may not have anything to do with whether the user is using GnuPG or PGP. There's just less consensus for binary files than ASCII-armored files.
    – gowenfawr
    Jul 24, 2020 at 15:04

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